On Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned the death penalty for the perpetrator of the brutal murder of two retirees and referred the case back to the regional court for re-examination, Wiasna informed the human rights center.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court investigated the appeal of Viktor Skrundzik, sentenced to death, and two other men (sentenced to prison) who murdered two retirees and attempted another murder. The court upheld the appeal and remitted the case to the court.
On appeal, the convict claimed to be guilty, among other things, because he feared revenge from the accomplices. He argued that he was convinced that men were dead when he set fire to the victims’ homes. In March, the court was convicted of killing two older men and attempting to murder retired Skrundzik with the death penalty and accomplices – up to 22 and 18 years’ imprisonment.
Men attacked lonely retirees twice to force their money on alcohol. They beat and strangled them, then set fire to the houses to cover the tracks of crime. Researchers found that both older men were burned alive. The perpetrators tried to commit another crime, but the victim was saved.
Belarus is the only country in Europe and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States where capital punishment is still practiced. It is for the worst crimes and women and men over 65 and under 18 cannot be convicted of it. The penalty is executed by shooting.
According to estimates by human rights defenders, about 400 executions have taken place since the establishment of the independent Belarus. There were three death sentences this year.
The European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and international human rights organizations have repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to abolish the death penalty or introduce a moratorium on its implementation.
From Minsk Justyna Prus (PAP)